ASA to recommend “no further action” over Rangers complaints after re-investigation

This evening I spoke with one of the people who had taken a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about the claims made by RIFC/ Sevco to be Rangers (1872-2012).

Today he received a communication from Ms Laura Brown of the ASA.

It stated that they had now completed the re-investigation of this matter in line with the recommendations from the Independent Reviewer and that  their revised report is now ready to be sent to the ASA Council.

The person I spoke with, who was one of the original complainers, and he considered that it was a victory that the Independent Reviewer Sir Hayden Phillips had decided last August that there was grounds to review the original decision.

The rationale of the ASA was largely based on the Lord Nimmo Smith ruling as well as submissions from RIFC/Sevco that the European Club Association considered them to be the same club.

The ASA is recommending “no further action” to the ASA  Council and that the original ruling should stand.

The complainants have seven days to lodge any objections and the person I spoke to will certainly do that.

Here is what he had to say:

“Like every football supporter in Scotland I understood that Rangers Football Club died the day the CVA was refused and the club plunged into liquidation.

“Rangers fans had just before this held a GIVE LIQUIDATION THE RED CARD Day at Ibrox, holding protests in the 18th and 72nd minutes as they sought to preserve their club’s history by avoiding LIQUIDATION.

“The day after the CVA was rejected we all read the newspapers and it was clear, as the Herald said ‘Rangers Football Club Born 1872 died 2012.’

“Since Liquidation Day a myth has emerged from Ibrox that somehow it was the ‘holding company’ and not the ‘club’ that died and that somehow a club or maybe only their club, was a different entity incapable of death, certainly incapable of liquidation. In denial the Rangers fans started to cling to the myth and an advertising slogan produced by the new club claiming they were “Scotland’s most successful club” was used to re-enforce this myth. Just like the Germans who were fed the ‘stab in the back myth’ after losing the First World War. For Rangers fans denial was easier to live with than the truth.

“These newspapers refer to the CLUB dying. There is no mention of a holding company – the Evening Times says ‘Ibrox meeting sends CLUB into liquidation’ and ‘140 years of Rangers ends’ – these are the facts – the ASA have had these facts presented to them twice. The first time their own Independent Reviewer Sir Hayden Phillips criticised them for failing to look at the evidence presented by those objecting to the ‘same club’ advertising.

 “They also accepted the LIES from the new club that their same club argument was “endorsed by the panel at the London Stock Exchange”. This claim was also on the Rangers website and had to be removed after we contacted the London Stock Exchange.

“The ASA’s own guidelines state that a company trying to use the history of a previously liquidated company can only do so if they have paid off all the debts of that company. The objection to the advertising, placed by the advertiser who is living off the reputation of a liquidated football club, is clearly in breach of the ASA’s own rules.

Did this mythical club that cannot die place the advertising and pay for the advertising? NO!”

This story still has a few unwritten chapters.

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